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"Plays consist mostly of talking". In light of this statement consider the extent to which dialogue and monologue are used to advance the principle themes of the Glass menagerie.

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Introduction

THE GLASS MENAGERIE Essay Question: "Plays consist mostly of talking". In light of this statement consider the extent to which dialogue and monologue are used to advance the principle themes of the Glass menagerie. The Glass Menagerie, by playwright Tennessee Williams, uses dialogue and monologue, to develop the principle themes of the play. This is done to a certain extent and is not the only technique used. The use of imagery, contrast, and symbolism also establishes and develops the key themes of; the difficulty of accepting reality, fragility of life, escape and confinement, and the power of memory. The 'power of memory' is established at the start of the play through the monologue and inner thoughts of Tom, when he lights his cigarette and addresses the audience. The Glass Menagerie is a memory play; both its style and its content are shaped and inspired by memory. As tom states, "memory takes a lot of poetic license, and it omits details that are exaggerated". Thus, the play is drawn from a realistic experience and does not need to have conventions of realism in order for it to sound real. The story that the play tells is told because of the unforgiving grip it has on the narrator's memory. ...read more.

Middle

He is unfairly confined. In the end, he does choose to free himself from the confinement of his life. Symbolism is also used here, to further reinforce the idea of escape. Leading out of the Wingfield's' apartment is a fire escape with a landing. The fire escape represents an escape from the fires of frustration and disfunction that rage in the Wingfield household, mainly between Amanda and Tom. Laura slips on the fire escape in Scene Four, which highlights her inability to escape from her situation. Tom, on the other hand, frequently steps out onto the landing to smoke, anticipating his eventual getaway. However, the play presents moral implications to Tom's escape. Unlike his sister, Tom is an able-bodied man and is trapped in a life not by physical factors but by emotional ones. He is the provider and the loyal protection for the family. He does this out of pure love for Amanda and Laura. If he were to escape he would feel guilty and suppressed as it means doing great harm to them. Once again the imagery of the magician continues. The magician is able to emerge from his coffin without upsetting a single nail, but the human nails that bind Tom to his home will certainly be upset by his departure. ...read more.

Conclusion

Unlike his sister, Tom is capable of functioning in the real world, as he is holding down a job and talks to strangers. But, in the end, he has no more motivation than Laura does to pursue professional success, romantic relationships, or even ordinary friendships, and he prefers to retreat into the fantasies provided by literature and movies. Amanda's relationship to reality is the most complicated in the play. Unlike her children, she is partial to real-world values and longs for social and financial success. Yet her attachment to these values is exactly what prevents her from perceiving a number of truths about her life. She cannot accept that she is or should be anything other than the pampered woman she was brought up to be, that Laura is peculiar, that Tom is not a businessman, and that she herself might be in some ways responsible for the sorrows and flaws of her children. As we can see, the use of dialogue and monologue are used to an extent. Tennessee Williams mainly uses the technique in the themes of 'power of memory' and 'escape and confinement'. Although plays are mainly consisted of talking, there are other devices that are used to enhance the themes of the play. Tennessee Williams has done this through the use of other literary features such as contrast, symbolism and imagery. ...read more.

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